The performance of energy harvesting generators based on dielectric elastomers is investigated in this contribution. The amount of energy extracted by a four-step load-driven cycle is constrained by structural instabilities due to the loss of tension, the electric breakdown and the ultimate stretch ratio. To identify the optimal cycle complying with these limits, we formulate a constraint optimization problem proving the dependency of the generator performance on the ultimate stretch ratio and, moreover, a universal limit on the dielectric strength beyond which the optimal cycle is independent of this parameter. Thus, we reveal that there is an upper bound on the amount of harvested energy that depends only on the ultimate stretch ratio.
|Number of pages
|Early online date
|16 Apr 2015
|Published - 2015
|IUTAM Symposium on Mechanics of Soft Active Materials, SAM 2014 - Haifa, Israel
Duration: 12 May 2014 → 15 May 2014